Rio Tinto plans to sell Riversdale's Zululand Anthracite Colliery

After taking over Mozambique focussed coal miner Riversdale Mining this month in a $3.9-billion deal, Rio Tinto is planning to sell the coal miner's South African asset, Zululand Anthracite Colliery (ZAC) post acquisition.

Riversdale managing director Steve MallyonSpeaking to South African mining newspaper Miningmx late last week, Riversdale managing director Steve Mallyon said that Rio Tinto has decided to sell ZAC as the company does not trade in anthracite and it has no strategic relevance to the company's core business.

''Over the years we've put in R500 million to build a business that was sustainable,'' he said. ''It is an excellent asset, we're getting good prices for its anthracite and it now sells 70 per cent of production internally, Mallyon said. 

''Our plan is to get a competent miner there to realise the progress we made,'' he added.

KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa-based ZAC is an anthracite coal producer and sells 70 per cent of its production to domestic heavy minerals, ferroalloy, electrode and steel industries. 

Riversdale owns a 74-per cent share of ZAC, while the remaining is held by its Black Economic Empowerment partner (BEE), the Maweni Mining Consortium. It has export entitlement of up to 150 000 tonnes a year at South Africa's Richards Bay Coal Terminal, which gives access to the export market to BEE.